Jan Oblak was the star as Atletico Madrid reached the Champions League quarter-finals and his exploits earned praise from Bayer Leverkusen head coach Tayfun Korkut.
The Atletico goalkeeper produced a fine display in Wednesday’s goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon as last season’s runners-up progressed 4-2 on aggregate.
Oblak made a stunning triple-save in the second half to thwart Julian Brandt and Kevin Volland and help Atletico book their spot in the quarter-finals of the competition for a fourth consecutive season.
And his efforts drew praise from the opposition, Korkut telling reporters: “Congratulations to Atletico and Oblak. He made a lot of great saves.
“We couldn’t get into our dynamic, The side played well, we created chances, had some good ones – a quadruple one, but still we could not score.
“For me the important thing is that the side have taken a step in the right direction – it was different to the previous games and we want to continue in this vein.”
Korkut added: “Oblak was there and made the saves, but he had four or five team-mates throwing themselves at the ball and we couldn’t find the space to score.
“That’s a demonstration of how well this side defends and how much they do not want to concede. This is football – you have to defend your goal well.
“We also showed that we have the quality to cause damage; not a lot of sides come here creating six or seven clear chances but we did and we take this as a positive moving forward.”
Atletico boss Diego Simeone also heaped praise on the Slovenia international post-match.
“He was tremendous. He looks to be at his best level,” Simeone told BeIN Sports.
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